6AlcatelAlcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), the undersea cables subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), and Quintillion Subsea Holdings LLC have entered into a turnkey contract for the design and construction of a submarine cable system from Prudhoe Bay to Nome. ASN has commenced marine route survey and installation activities for the implementation of the system.

The system will offer a unique route to bring reliable, affordable high-speed broadband access to the North Slope of Alaska and will bridge the digital divide in an area of Alaska where bandwidth is currently still limited. With a capacity of at least 10 terabits-per-second (Tbit/s) per fiber pair, it will enable the delivery of advanced services, including improved health and education services more cost effectively, and spur economic development by empowering local businesses.

The system will consist of three fiber pairs capable of carrying 100 wavelengths, each of which can support 100 gigabits-per-second of data capacity. Phase 1 will be a 1,850 km segment linking the Alaskan communities of Nome, Kotzebue, Wainwright, Point Hope, Barrow, and Prudhoe Bay and will provide for future extensions to Asia and Europe. Scheduled for completion by the end of 2016, Phase 1 will incorporate advanced routing and burial techniques to protect the cable and enhance the integrity of the system.

Elizabeth Pierce, CEO of Quintillion Subsea Holdings said: “The Quintillion system will provide high quality, affordable bandwidth to businesses, government entities and communities throughout Northwest and the North Slope of Alaska, an area that is currently underserved and where environmental conditions present unique operational challenges. ASN has experience working in the arctic environment and their field-proven solution will offer us the flexibly and reliability our customers require to support the delivery of high capacity bandwidth and innovative services and applications, such as advanced tele-health and interactive education solutions, contributing to socio-economic development.”

Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: “There are still underserved areas that require ultra broadband access and connectivity, which are the key drivers of the upward trend the submarine industry is experiencing. The unique weather conditions of the Arctic make this project very challenging and our selection for this project is based on our technical expertise and our marine installation assets to ensure the optimal system routing and protection that will be required on this demanding route”

ASN will be responsible for the project on a turnkey basis, from system design to installation and commissioning. The ASN technical solution will be based on a state-of-the-art system architecture using armored OALC-4 cable, advanced coherent multi-terabit technology with optical add-drop multiplexing capabilities, and a configuration that will facilitate future ultra low-latency expansion to Japan and Western Europe.

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